Saturday, June 22, 2013

"Back in the Day" Review: Daredevil #196

Back in the Day: Daredevil #196 (July 1983) by Denny O'Neil & Klaus Janson

Thirty years ago this gem was released which tells the story of how Daredevil met Wolverine for the first time. Instead of initially fighting like most team-ups, the two are aware of each other and mostly get along. Of course it’s Wolverine from 30 years ago so he spends the issue pushing buttons while the Daredevil from 30 years ago spends the issue judging him for being too violent.

The issue starts in the hospital Bullseye is in (his spine is broken). Wolverine is there, acting on a tip from Tarkington Brown that the people who laced his skeleton with adamantium are looking to do the same with Bullseye, when there is an attack and during the confusion, Wolverine inhales knockout gas and is shot. When he wakes up, Daredevil is on the scene and the two quickly decide to team-up to locate Bullseye.

Along the way there’s disagreement about how violent Wolverine is but, to his credit, Wolverine manages to either brush the comments off with a joke or to imply that Daredevil is too soft. Daredevil never lectures and Wolverine doesn’t try to punch him – which was unusual for both each character back then. I loved it because they mostly got along and because it was Daredevil and Wolverine in one issue.

I never could resist a superhero team-up and back then Wolverine didn’t have his own title or routinely appear in 10 titles a month. This issue isn’t the greatest example of Daredevil’s greatness (it was just a few issue past Frank Miller’s brilliant run on the title) but a great classic team-up. I don’t know when Wolverine learned Daredevil’s secret identity but now you know when they first met.

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